The World Bank has an important role to play to increase trusts between people and their governments around the world, says Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director, Oxfam International.
Byanyima made this observation during a WBG’s Flagship Seminar on the increasing governance gap and distrust. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that more than half of the global population expresses distrust in government institutions, while a World Bank survey with opinion leaders in client countries shows that bridging governance gap had risen to the top of countries’ policy priorities.
Considering this trend, Byanyima enjoins the Bretton woods institution to start the therapy from within, especially the International Finance Corporation (IFC) lending programme. “It is very important that these lending respect the rules that are set by the Bank. The Bank must ensure that the intermediaries don’t go and wreak havoc in people’s lives and the bank doesn’t want to take responsibility. They should take responsibility and apply those rules where it relates to the intermediaries,” she says.
The Oxfam chief notes that Africa and other regions are cheated of tax with the World Bank supporting the cheats. “About $16 billion of money is sitting in tax havens with African peoples’ money and World Bank is lending to firms that are part of this cheating. So, getting behind global corporate tax reforms and getting behind closing tax havens is an important role that the Bank can play to increase trust between people and their governments,” she adds.
By Olisemeka Obeche